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    No muzzle on Clarke’s men for Ashes

    27/07/2018 - Author: admin - Comments are closed

    There is no danger Australia will follow England’s lead and ban players from talking about the Ashes, after James Pattinson revealed the bowlers’ plan to ”open up” England by targeting their captain and best batsman Alastair Cook.

    England coach Andy Flower has muzzled his players, who have been told they will face disciplinary action if they shift focus from the series against New Zealand and the Champions Trophy to talk publicly about the more glamorous Ashes assignment that follows.

    Australian captain Michael Clarke has no such concerns, and has encouraged his troops to keep talking and tweeting as the Champions Trophy and Australia A squads prepare to depart for Britain this weekend.

    ”I’m very open to the guys talking about whatever they want to talk about. I love the fact that in the Australian team we allow people to be themselves,” Clarke said. ”That’s probably one of the great advantages of social media … We understand there’s a line and don’t overstep the mark. [But] there’s no restrictions in regards to guys not talking about the Ashes.”

    Pattinson, the potent young paceman, took immediate advantage of the licence, taking early aim at Cook. The opening batsman scored 1249 runs at 48.03 last year but was dismissed by left-arm quick Trent Boult in both innings in the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s, for 32 and 21.

    ”The big thing for us is Cook, he’s their star batsman, their captain, their leader, so we want to get into him as much as possible, not really verbally,” Pattinson said. ”As a bowling group, we’ll be working hard on trying to get into him early on, bowl to his weaknesses and try to get his wicket because we feel like if we can do that, we can open them up quite early.

    Cook averages 50 against Australia and Peter Siddle foreshadowed a new approach.

    ”In the past we have tried too many different things instead of sticking to what we knew would work. If we keep that consistency we know we can build pressure on him,” Siddle said.

    The Australians have also been monitoring Cook’s opening partner Nick Compton, who has made two centuries in his first eight Tests, and young middle order batsmen Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow, one of whom is expected to make way for Kevin Pietersen if he proves his fitness before the Ashes.

    ”Joe Root looks a pretty composed player … Compton is finding it hard, getting lbw a lot, he closes off quite a bit,” Pattinson said. ”You look at those things, find out weaknesses, but they’re all class batsmen. The big thing for us is don’t have any doubts, trust our ability, that will shine through in the end.”

    The 23-year-old fast bowler, who has recovered from abdominal surgery, has milked his older brother and Nottingham veteran Darren for information about bowling at Trent Bridge, the seam-friendly venue for the first Test.

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